Mike Burrows Has Tommy John Surgery; Endy Rodriguez Could Return Soon

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced that 23-year-old right-handed pitcher Mike Burrows had Tommy John surgery yesterday. The timeline to return to action has him back no earlier than late June of next year.

Burrows is one of the top pitching prospects in the system. He was likely going to make his big league debut this season. The Pirates added him to the 40-man roster over the off-season. He made ten starts and two relief appearances for Triple-A Indianapolis last year. He gave up two runs over 6.2 innings in his two starts this year.

With that amount of experience, along with early success, it certainly appeared that he wasn’t far from being ready to appear in a big league game, before he went down with an injury.

The best case scenario now seems like we could see him in Pittsburgh next September. Once he returns to action, it will be a slow rehab process to build his innings.

The Pirates announced some good news on catching prospect Endy Rodriguez, who suffered a forearm strain that landed him on the Injured List last week. He could return to action in a few days as a DH, though he will take a little bit longer to get into game action at the catching position.

He was hitting .263/.333/.456 in 14 games before the injury.

If you missed the news, Nick Gonzales landed on the Injured List today.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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The burrows news is such a bummer. They will need to acquiring another starter. 7 won’t do for a whole 162. Brubaker and burrows going down sucks.


Maybe silver lining?

If this club is actually for real and is actually a contender heading into August, then throwing a rookie arm who’s never come close to performing for that length in those conditions in to a pennant race is probably a pretty crappy idea.


They did it with cole and he did alright. Gonna need some depth at some point though.


Mike Burrows ain’t close to Gerrit Cole, my friend.

Rental/short-term trades are undervalued anymore. Only multiple years of control requires any real prospect cost.

Just go do it.

Last edited 1 month ago by NMR

Also, didn’t Cole come up in June? Hardly the heat of a pennant race. The Bucs were doing well of course but it was fairly early in the season. Did he come up because Wandy got hurt?

Just go trade for Giolito. Given the state of the Sox, they can probably make that trade in six weeks.


Wishing Burrows a speedy recovery. He was about to make his jump to the show but this is a minor setback.


As a package deal, I’ll take this news. Definitely expected that Burrows was gonna need TJ, given the paucity of updates and the whole “second opinion” thing (who demands a second opinion on good news?). Really tough blow to see him miss so much time, but if they continue to progress as a team, there will be a HUGE boost to the pitching depth late next year.

Most importantly, it’s a huge sigh of relief to hear that Endy’s injury is minor. He’s got the most potential in the system to be a giant boost to the ML squad this year, and it feels like the perfect year for him to enter the fold with great Veteran leadership and a fun culture boosting his growth and transition to the bigs. Also a bonus that Nick Gonzales and Swaggerty seem like they’ll be back soon. Indy’s lineups have looked boring lately without the top prospects.


If things hold as they have been so far, the Pirates will have lost one game to the Dodgers over the last two years. Uriah has been considered a stud.


Thanks for sharing the endy news. pretty big relief there.


Baseball needs to not have TJ pitchers count against the 40-man during the off season. For example Borrows is basically out until well into 2024, and yet he will have to be on the 40-man this off season. It is pretty easy to verify if a pitcher had TJ surgery, so not like the off season roster would be manipulated.


That’s a good idea.


Passan has an interesting article up at espn about the increased injuries (way more players have ended up on the IL this season than in recent seasons). Some want to blame the pitch clock and others the WBC (not the tournament itself as much as players ramping up their games quicker than is typical), but the explanation that makes the most sense to me for pitchers is all the data they get on spin rates and whether they try to do too much to improve that data.

Burrows seemed to follow a common pattern–improved stuff soon followed by TJ surgery. It’s sad to say, but the surgery was probably inevitable given his spin rates and it’s good to go ahead and get it out of the way now.


My god.

If Rob Manfred said studies also show spin rate is primarily to blame for inflation, the war in Ukraine, and global warming you people would fall for it hook, line, and sinker.

Wilbur Miller

Everyone knows injuries are the result of salaries being too high.


First it was too many breaking balls, then it was throwing too hard, and now the boogeyman is throwing with too much spin.

Maybe, juuuust maybe, the body has not anatomically evolved to throw baseballs overhand a few hundred thousand times in a man’s life.


It sounds like you’re making a point against your point–if the body isn’t anatomically evolved to throw baseballs overhand, then doesn’t it stand to reason that if that body is putting even more effort into increasing spin and/or velocity, the toll will be even greater?


See, you’ve already lost your own plot!

The narrative you’ve bought into from Trevor Bauer, Man of Science, and adopted by Major League Baseball owners is that *only cheating” with “sticky stuff” can increase spin rate. There’s nothing a player can do, short of throwing harder, to increase spin rate naturally.

Now you’ve apparently dropped that bit in order to blame spin rate – which neither Mike Burrows nor JT Brubaker have shown any substantial sign of increasing – is to blame for their injuries.

This spin rate balogna is junk science, complete BS.

Throwing baseballs is exceptional hard on the human anatomy and the more you throw with heavy effort the more likely you are to break. That’s it.


Why are you bringing up Bauer or sticky stuff or cheating? That has nothing to do with anything I’ve written or even was thinking.

Passon’s article made a point that I thought was interesting and can relate to. Ignorance is bliss–if I’m jogging, say, without timing my miles, I’m happy and my body is happy. When I’m being timed (given data), I push myself harder to meet some goal and there’s no question it’s harder on my body. I think the idea that being given more data on performance could have some adverse consequences is interesting. That’s all.


But by all means, let’s continue suspending the league’s star players because dumbass umpires who know absolutely nothing about playing the game are left to enforce a bullshit rule.

Wilbur Miller

But getting rid of the sticky stuff caused the MLB K/9 to drop all the way from 8.9 to . . . uh . . . 8.9.


In science, we call this part of the experiment confirming our hypothesis. Because we’re very serious scientists.


17-8 sure takes the sting out of some early items that otherwise would be throwing this message board into chaos: Bru, Burrows, OCruz, rough start for Priester and most of Indy bats & bullpen for that matter . Good news on Endy though


ive been banging this drum already, but the bucs are gonna need to add a starting arm at some point

i wont be too angry if bido needs to make a start or two. whatever.

but for any extended absences, we are down to Ortiz and Priester as the actual starting pitching depth.

i’d be shocked if that’s enough.

Semi-obviously i mostly mean they should add someone to the front of the rotation, but in the mean time I wouldnt hate grabbing Konnor Pilkington just DFA’d by the Guardians just as a warm body with minor league options as an up and down guy for depth in the mean time. He’s not great but the projections seem to think he’d survive in the bigs.


The question is who and how? Too early for trades I would think. Nothing is at Indy. Bido and Caleb Smith don’t cut it.


right. probably too early to add an actual good player.

That’s part of why i gave an example of a semi-interesting-enough player who is available on the scrap heap just for depth in the mean time.

Last edited 1 month ago by jaygray007

I guess I don’t want a scrap heap player. 🤣🤣🤣🤣


They probably have the depth to go Opener/bullpen games as a stopgap too.


yeah, i’m not worried about little stopgap situations. fine with bullpenning. fine with Bido getting a call for a game or two. whatever.

i’m talking about extended injury type situations that require more than just an odd game or two.


Jay, you like to play the trade scenario game as much as I do, how about a blockbuster deal, sending half the farm to include Johnson and Priester to KC for Bradley and Barlow?


Do you mean Brady Singer? he’s not really my cup of tea and i cant imagine he’d cost that much, but who knows.


Yes him, he has 3+ years left before FA, so he’s worth a lot according to the trade site.


i just dont think hes that good


If they keep circling the drain, I’d give the Pale Hose a call in regards to Giolito.

And even though they dealt Lopez this off-season, Miami still has a bunch of quality arms.

Last edited 1 month ago by ArkyWags

just brought him up to a few friends, myself!


Off topic, but why aren’t SBs counted into your OPS?

If Bae singles and then steals second, it is almost as if he doubled, no? Plus, I would argue that his base stealing acumen is more rattling to a pitcher than a guy who just doubled.


I had NO HBPs weren’t counted in WHIP. I am with you on this.


a double is better than a single+a steal because the extra base hit gives the runners on base more time to run and score. Bae getting a double with a guy on first probably scores a run. Bae getting a single with a guy on first, and then stealing, probably ends with guys on 2nd and 3rd.

i think i like the system where an OPS number is really just measuring your *hitting ability* and then we can look at the steals for further context of the player’s total value.

and i guess it’s all about what you’re *measuring*. to me, OPS and other things are about measuring *hitting ability*. I do like that you’re kinda calling for a stat that measures *total offensive ability*. but it’s all about the intent of the stat.

maybe there’s an argument to have a version of wOBA or wRC+ that bakes steals in (if they don’t already). I just imagine that a 1b+SB should impact those stats less than a double would.


OPS isn’t even weighted correctly, it’s really just a number in the context of other numbers.

If you’re just counting bases with SLG, why not add the bases you steal? I know it‘s not traditional SLG, i.e., power, but it accomplishes the goal of counting actual bases specific to each player. I mean, do we really need to look at SLG to determine if a player has “power”?

If getting on base matters, then getting on base and stealing additional bases should matter too.


A double is a guaranteed 2 bagger, stealing a base not so much, especially if the situation doesn’t call for it, a tough lefty, etc….


Then they need to come up with something to measure the impact of a stolen base. Bae’s .687 does not even begin to tell of his offensive effectiveness. He ran wild against the Dodgers. The look on Wyms face was priceless.


WAR would factor it in. Probably why Bae has a 0.1 WAR given his wRC+ of 88. He also stresses the pitcher causing less then optimal pitches, which would be really hard to measure (batting average when a player is on base?)


agreed. love having that type of weapon on the team.

I was always jealous of the Reds during the years where Billy Hamilton was running wild.


baseball is bad

b mcferren

if Delay carries his .300+ average into June, then there is a trade to be made?


I insinuated that earlier because there are teams that “want” to compete, but are having catching difficulties. I ended with “sing it Tony” meaning SF. Joey Bart has struggled and is now injured, Perez is out, Wynns is not the answer, and they now have Blake Sabol behind the plate. The Giants need a reliable Pitcher’s Catcher, strong defensively, etc.

Here’s what I see – they like Sabol’s bat, but the 2 BB/24 K is hard to live with – they would love to have the ability to move him back to AAA for some refinement without losing him. The Pirates did not need Sabol nor do they need Delay once Endy and Henry are up. I think for the right young RP, the Pirates would be willing to deal.

b mcferren

would be cool to fetch Bednar´s brother in exchange for Delay


Hedges and Delay are better than Endy right now. If we’re still in playoff race Endy is a DH


Burrows and Brubaker both out with tommy john surgery and Bolton just getting on track from his own injury issues. New rule, no more drafting pitchers with last names that start with the letter B.


It’s also why you don’t spend the #1 draft pick on a pitcher regardless of how good he appears to be or what letter his name begins with. Just too prone to injuries that keep them out for the better part of two years and high draft picks are too valuable to waste that kind of time.


Bobby Bradley


Even Benson who managed to get hurt, just before was to be dealt. Therefore we had to deal Aramis.


That one still bugs me, even more than the Archer deal, where MLB put a gun to their head and told them to cut salary (a fact that a lot of fans either never learned or just fail to remember), and that team was pretty competitive and fun to watch, and even though it was under McClatchy still, was pretty much the birth of the “Penny Pinching Nutting” trope.


That is mostly a list of Littlefield screwups.

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